This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Thing To Do Today: simmer.

Are there as many technical bits of jargon in cooking as there are in computers? 

Well, I don't know, quite honestly, but as cooking terms must occur every language known to man,* and as computer terms are largely international, I suspect the cooks have the larger vocabulary.

So, the term simmer. This originally meant to keep food for a time in water just hot enough to make small bubbles rise to the surface. That temperature is probably, depending upon the weather and how high you are above sea level, about 95 degrees centigrade.

If you live up a mountain, or there's a thunderstorm brewing, then your simmering water will be cooler, and the cooking will take longer.

If you have someone around who does all the cooking for you then I am sorry for you, for you are missing a great pleasure, but in that case there are other ways to simmer. You can always look forward to your dinner in a state of simmering anticipation; an approaching trip or celebration might find you in state of simmering excitement; a difficult colleague might cause you to exist in a miasma of simmering anger; a difficult boss might induce simmering resentment; and a difficult computer might lead to simmering frustration.

In all these cases, we in England try our best not to come too obviously to the boil.

Except when watching the news and the football, obviously.

Thing to do today: simmer. This word first appeared in the 1600s. The best guess is that it's an imitation of the sound of a simmering pan.

*Possibly not Klingon**.

**Actually, even in Klingon. I just looked it up, and the word for to boil, for instance, is pub.

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